Words from the Provost to highlight a number of matters for your attention.
I write to highlight a number of matters for your attention at this time of the year. Most are in the way of reminders, but in some cases there have been significant changes. This is a very long message, I realize, but I urge that you please take the time to (re)acquaint yourselves with each of these critical issues. It is important that you are familiar with them and the policies relating to them.
Personnel Policies and Handbooks
All employees, including faculty, operate under personnel policies governing the terms and conditions of their employment. These policies, which are collected in handbooks for certain types of employees, are posted on both the Provost’s Office and the Office of Human Resources websites as well as on W&M's online policy library.
Emergency Closings and Notifications
Only the Provost can cancel classes or alter work obligations of university employees (for VIMS and James Monroe’s Highland, the Dean/Director and Executive Director, respectively, will make closing decisions), pursuant to the Emergency Closing Policy. Please make sure that your phone number(s) and email address(es) are current in the Emergency Notification System. These can be updated via Banner Self-Service.
William & Mary shall not abridge the constitutional freedom of any individual, including enrolled students, faculty and other employees, and invited guests, to speak on campus. For more information about university policies concerning free speech, please review the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and the Use of Campus Facilities Policy. To report concerns about free speech or incidents of disruption of such protected speech, visit the Report Concerns or Violations website.
Safety and Respectful Workplace
Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence
Please review W&M's policies on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation and Sexual Misconduct. Please also familiarize yourself with campus resources for discrimination-related services.
Violence Prevention and Threat Assessment
Faculty, Staff and Students with Disabilities – ֝Requesting and Implementing Accommodation
W&M modifies academic and working conditions and policies as necessary to accommodate students and employees with disabilities. Accommodations may be authorized only by Student Accessibility Services (221-2509) or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (221-2617) (for faculty/employees with disabilities). It is essential that faculty take care to fully and promptly implement any specific student accommodations. If you have any questions, please contact Student Accessibility Services within the Dean of Students Office at 221-2512 ([[sas]]) Sharron Gatling, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, at 221-2617 ([[sggalt]]), or Carla Costello, ADA Coordinator, 221-1254 ([[cacostello]]).
Building an Accessible Curriculum
W&M encourages faculty to prepare course materials in an accessible format for students with visual impairments. Information and other resources are available at www.wm.edu/campusaccess.
Preferred Name Option for Students
Students are able to indicate a preferred name using the personal information questionnaire (PIQ) in Banner Self-Service. This preferred name will appear on course lists in Blackboard; we hope they will appear on class rosters by this spring. Please allow students to express a preferred name and, if appropriate, gender identity or pronoun, to you and use it in your interactions with students. The preferred name option is part of W&M’s efforts to make transgender or genderqueer students feel welcome on campus; for more information, visit the LGBTQ resource website.
Student Access to University Buildings
Active William & Mary students have 24-hour/7-day card swipe access to Tyler, Ewell, Jones, and Morton Halls, and Swem Mews during each semester. Additionally, students will have access to Miller Hall from 6am-2am/7 days per week. Law School card swipe access will be provided on a 24-hour/7-day basis for students enrolled at the Law School and students enrolled in the MPA program. Student access to residence halls remains the same as in previous years. The Scheduling Office and Conference Services will coordinate building access for events scheduled through those offices. Access to university buildings outside of scheduled open hours may be arranged on a one-time or ongoing basis with approval of an Authorized Signatory as outlined in the Access Control Policy for University Facilities. Contact the Facilities Management Work Control Office ([[workor]] / 221- 2270) with any questions.
Ethical and Legal Standards in Student Referrals and Hiring
As an institution, we are required to maintain an environment of equal employment opportunity and act in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner without regard of a student’s race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, age, economic status, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Occasionally, employers and alumni may contact you to request the names of students who would be good candidates for internship and job opportunities. Though it may seem harmless to provide the names of your best students, there are potential legal and ethical pitfalls. Best practice suggests that in addition to any specific referral you might provide, you should send the information to the Cohen Career Center so that the position can be posted openly for all qualified candidates. The Cohen Career Center will also make appropriate referrals to the other career centers on campus for specific needs such as the Graduate Career Management Center in the Mason School of Business or the Office of Career Services-William & Mary Law School. Contact any of these three offices if you have questions about referrals in hiring.
Reporting Options and Obligations
Centralized Reporting Website
The university has a central website for reporting various types of concerns and appeals as well as options for external reports. The individual making the report selects their role as either student, faculty/staff, or parent/alumnus/other; pull-down options on the specific page connect users directly to the appropriate reporting form, email address, or other contact information to make reporting easy and efficient. The university encourages reports to help ensure a safe and welcoming community and to support the core values of the university. If you have questions or concerns about reporting processes, contact the Compliance & Equity Office.
There are certain situations that you are required to report to others, including threats and acts of violence and reports of certain crimes or sexual harassment. Information about these reporting requirements is available on the mandatory reporting website.
Concern about a Student
Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office promptly with any concerns about an individual student – general welfare concerns (multiple class absences, personal or family crisis, disturbed/disturbing behavior), suspicions about hazing, conduct/honor violations, signs of substance abuse, or any other matter that raises concern. The Dean of Students website has an online Care Report Form, and the Dean's professional staff will follow-up promptly based on the information provided. In cases of imminent safety concern, always contact the W&M Police at 221-4596.
Student Honor Code
The Office of Community Values and Restorative Practices has resources for faculty regarding the Honor Code. For undergraduate student cases, the Honor System permits faculty members to resolve certain low-level, first-time honor violations without need for a formal hearing. This process provides a non-adversarial means of resolution while also allowing for the teachable moment created by dialogue. Note that the process is only available for certain types of violations and only for first-time offenses; thus, consultation with the Office of Student Conduct is necessary prior to any resolution. The Office of Community Values and Restorative Practices and the Honor Council are available to speak with classes or meet with departments at any time. Please contact Dave Gilbert, Associate Dean of Students (221-2509), for more information.
Environment, Health & Safety Compliance
The EH&S office is responsible for maintaining compliance with health, safety, and environmental regulations and standards. Please review and comply with EH&S procedures, including all directives for fire/safety drills, safety inspections or routine “walk-throughs.” Per W&M policy, the EH&S Office has “stop work” authority if a dangerous situation is deemed to exist.
Conflicts of Interest
Our Code of Ethics requires that we avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. One type of conflict arises when payments, gifts or other benefits are provided to faculty and staff from vendors or other service providers. External paid employment can also present a conflict, and, for faculty (other than adjuncts) and full-time professional employees such employment must be approved in advance. You should also be aware that under Virginia law, the business and financial dealings of your spouse are imputed to you; thus, your obligation to avoid conflicts of interests extends to your spouse’s activities. Find information and resources regarding conflicts.
Travel and Other Transactions Involving W&M Money
Regardless of funding source, when using funds through the university, including when you make a business-related purchase for which you later request reimbursement or travel on university business, you must follow applicable policies and procedures. For example, you must have an approved travel authorization prior to travel. Further information about buying goods or services is available from the Office of Procurement and information about travel expense reimbursement is available through Financial Operations.
Technology, Information and Intellectual Property
Information Security and Sensitive Data
W&M is required by law to protect specific information defined as “sensitive data.” The Data Classification and Protection Policy narrowly defines “sensitive data” and describes other important rules for handling such data. Most notably, be aware that storing sensitive data using services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or other cloud-based storage services is not permitted. Additionally, email is not a secure method of transmitting any personal or personally identifiable information. Instead, please use Box, W&M's file sharing, file storage and collaboration platform, to share sensitive data. Visit IT's security policies website for important information.
Use of Copyrighted Materials
Please review W&M's Policy and Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Work (pdf); it is important and touches on matters such as assembling course materials. If you have any questions or need clarification or guidance, please contact Dean Carrie Cooper, who is W&M’s designee in copyright matters.
Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and Export Control
Along with various regulations, laws, and policies regulating research, all of which can be found in the Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Studies’ semester compliance reminder letter, W&M employees are bound by and must comply with policies on Intellectual Property and Export Control. Find the research reminder letter and policies.
Use of the Internet and Electronic Media and W&M computers
State policy on use of the Internet and electronic communications covers a broad range of devices such as smartphones and social media technologies including Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. Under the policy, personal use of these technologies is permitted as long as it does not (1) interfere with productivity or performance, (2) adversely affect systems, or (3) imply that the communication is made on behalf of W&M. Find the policy outlining specific requirements and banned activities (pdf). In addition, the Code of Virginia prohibits the use of W&M-owned or leased computers to access sexually explicit content, except when approved in advance by the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate/Professional Studies.
Of course, if you have any questions about any of the items listed above, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor, department head, dean or my office. Thank you for your attention to these important matters.